S13 E9: Martijn Wismeijer on GeneralBytes Bitcoin ATMs

Martijn Wismeijer is the marketing manager at GeneralBytes, the world’s biggest Bitcoin ATM manufacturer and software provider. Though this ATM venture seems to take most of his time nowadays, his Bitcoin journey goes back to collecting free BTC from Gavin Andresen’s faucet in 2010 and making transactions in the days when the coins had no market value. Martijn Wiesmeijer also became world famous in 2014, when he turned himself into the world’s first Bitcoin android by implanting an NFC chip in his hand to have easier access to his wallet.

Almost a decade later, the NFC chip is just as programmable and functional: with it, Martijn gets quick access to a LNURL. Quite a drastic change from the original purpose to send transactions on the Bitcoin base layer.

If you’ve been looking for a podcast episode that helps you learn more about how the Bitcoin ATM business works, then this recording is exactly what you’re looking for. Martijn Wismeijer makes a brief presentation about the history of the Bitcoin ATM industry, explains the context in which GeneralBytes was created, makes a useful comparison between GeneralBytes and every major competitor, and also describes the types of ATMs his company is producing and selling.

For anyone who enjoys converting dirty cash for bitcoin and spends a lot of time on the CoinATMRadar website searching for the best deals, all the information presented in this episode should be very exciting – though even casual users and enthusiasts will find themselves getting immersed in this fascinating world of converting fiat currencies for hard money.

Listen to Martijn Wismeijer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify & YouTube!

Though big tech platforms are nice and convenient, I strongly advise you to not use big tech applications that track you and go for a more privacy-friendly option which involves opening this free player in the Tor browser.This way, you will successfully obfuscate your IP address and not reveal any data with my website or storage provider. I honestly don’t care to know where you come from and neither do my sponsors.

On the other hand, if you use these big tech platforms then please subscribe and leave feedback. Your 5-star ratings on Apple Podcasts, likes on YouTube, and subscriptions on Spotify make all the difference in terms of visibility. When someone searches for Bitcoin ATMs, they will be more likely to find this great and educational interview thanks to your contribution to ranking Bitcoin Takeover podcast a little higher. Thank you!

Time stamps:

Implanting the NFC chip [00:01:13]

Martijn Wismeijer talks about his experience with the NFC chip and how he implanted it in his hand in 2014.

Mixed reactions to the NFC chip [00:02:29]

Martijn Wismeijer discusses the mixed reactions he received online after implanting the NFC chip, including conspiracy theories about the “mark of the beast.”

Practical use cases of the NFC chip [00:05:09]

Martijn Wismeijer explains the potential practical use cases of the NFC chip, including storing private keys and recovery seeds, as well as its use in closed-loop payment systems.

Flexibility of the NFC chip [00:08:15]

Martijn Wismeijer discusses the flexibility of the NFC chip and how it can be reprogrammed for different use cases, such as from a bitcoin storage to a lightning wallet.

History of General Bytes and their Bitcoin ATMs [00:09:43]

Martijn Wismeijer talks about the history of General Bytes and their various models of Bitcoin ATMs, which are used around the world.

General Bytes ATM Development [00:10:08]

Practical Use Cases for Bitcoin ATMs [00:12:33]

Customizable ATM Configurations [00:15:03]

Financial Privacy with Wasabi Wallets [00:19:00]

Cryptosteel [00:20:02]

Introduction to Cryptosteel, a metal backup system for private keys and recovery seeds.

BumBee [00:21:45]

Introduction to BumBee, a Bitcoin-based platform for monetizing creative content.

ShopInBit [00:22:03]

Introduction to ShopInBit, Europe’s largest Bitcoin store, and their concierge service for travel hacking.

General Bytes Bitcoin ATMs [00:23:48]

Overview of the different models of Bitcoin ATMs offered by General Bytes, including their capabilities and differences in form factor.

Cashless Bitcoin ATMs [00:25:48]

Configuring Bitcoin ATMs [00:27:39]

Dispensing vs Recycling Bank Notes [00:29:24]

Clarification of the difference between dispensing and recycling bank notes in Bitcoin ATMs.

Managing Cash in Bitcoin ATMs [00:29:33]

Martijn Wismeijer explains the benefits and drawbacks of using a cash dispenser, acceptor, or recycler in Bitcoin ATMs.

Regulations and Compliance in Bitcoin ATM Business [00:32:47]

Martijn Wismeijer discusses the importance of complying with regulations and setting up AML/KYC requirements in Bitcoin ATM business.

Growing a Bitcoin ATM Business [00:36:02]

Martijn Wismeijer talks about the process of gradually growing a Bitcoin ATM business, from configuring the first machine to building a brand and expanding to thousands of machines.

Non-Compliant Bitcoin ATMs [00:37:36]

Martijn Wismeijer explains the difficulties of running non-AML/KYC compliant Bitcoin ATMs and how regulations have made it impossible to run such machines in most countries.

AML/KYC policies [00:39:02]

Discussion on the complexity of AML/KYC laws and the need for different policies per country and per group of machines.

Privacy concerns [00:40:18]

Debate on the privacy of Bitcoin ATMs and the need for security measures to prevent abuse.

Location of Bitcoin ATMs [00:42:38]

Explanation of why Bitcoin ATMs are often found in shopping malls and other vending machine locations, and the impact of the pandemic on their placement.

Competition in the market [00:44:29]

Martijn Wismeijer talks about the various rankings and reviews of Bitcoin ATMs [00:50:12] 


  • NFC chip (00:00:51)
  • GeneralBytes (00:01:50)
  • Mycelium wallet (00:03:25)
  • Lightning Network (00:05:18)
  • Closed-loop payment system (00:06:09)
  • Android (00:09:04)
  • Apple (00:09:43)
  • Kickstarter project
  • General Bytes: mentioned throughout the episode
  • NFC chip implant: mentioned at the beginning of the episode
  • Bitcoin ATMs: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Closed-loop payment systems: mentioned at the beginning of the episode
  • Storing private keys and recovery seeds: mentioned at the beginning of the episode
  • PayPal: mentioned at 00:14:04
  • Western Union: mentioned at 00:17:38
  • Wasabi Wallet: mentioned at 00:19:00
  • Cryptosteel (00:20:02)
  • Bumbee (00:20:02, 00:21:45)
  • ShopInBit (00:22:03)
  • GeneralBytes Bitcoin ATMs (00:23:48-00:29:24)
  • NFC chip implant: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Bitcoin ATMs by General Bytes: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Lightning Network: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Open source ATM project called Bleskomat: mentioned at 01:33:23
  • Paraleni Polis: mentioned at 01:32:44
  • DIY ATM projects: mentioned at 01:34:23
  • Bitcoin node: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Block explorer: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Fee estimation: mentioned throughout the episode
  • Self-hosted wallet: mentioned at 01:29:30
  • Red Bull vending machine: mentioned at 01:31:14
  • Bitcoin as a payment system: mentioned at 01:31:14
  • Bitcoin’s potential for closed-loop payment systems: mentioned at 01:27:46
  • Bitcoin’s potential for storing private keys and recovery seeds: mentioned at 01:27:46
  • Coin ATM Radar website: mentioned by Vlad at 01:45:58 as a resource for finding Bitcoin ATMs in your area.
  • GeneralBytes: mentioned throughout the episode as the company that Martin Wismeijer works for and that produces Bitcoin ATMs.
  • Genesis Coin: mentioned by Martijn at 01:48:52 as a competitor to General Bytes in the US market.
  • Shitcoins Club: mentioned by Martijn at 01:50:41 as a Polish brand that produces Bitcoin ATMs.
  • 0.25% fee: mentioned by Vlad at 01:54:21 as the fee charged by General Bytes to ATM operators for transactions made on their machines.
  • 1% fee: mentioned by Vlad at 01:55:22 as the fee charged by Genesis Coin to ATM operators for transactions made on their machines.

Bitcoin Takeover Podcast Season 13 Is Sponsored By Wasabi Wallet, Cryptosteel, Bumbee & ShopInBit!

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Vlad Costea

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